I may or may not have watched this twice in the span of 3 days. And I may or may not want to watch it again.
I absolutely love love and I love movies about love but I have never been the biggest fan of the rom-com genre. All troupes and the corniness just took me out of the film and distracted me from the relationship and left me not caring as much. Recently it seems that things have been looking up for rom-coms with films like The Big Sick, Crazy Rich Asians, and now this film. This film... made me feel so many feelings. I got that gushy, mushy feeling in my chest of just pure happiness and love and admiration and hope and like I was floating on a cloud. Like I said, I love love and this love story was just so beautiful.
The love story would not be what it was without two of some of the greatest teen characters I've seen in awhile. First of all, our leading lady Lana Condor who played Lara Jean. Lara Jean was introverted and did not put herself out there much.
She loved to read and fantasize about love but was scared of love and relationships in the real world. She had amazing comedic timing and was just so genuine and kind and someone who I could see myself in but also was inspired by her and her just all around positive aura. She was such a well written and perfectly acted character. She was one of a kind and Lana was just the perfect Lara Jean.
Second of all, the one and only Noah Centineo who played the beautiful and charming Peter Kavinsky. I love this man and I think just about the entire Internet does as well.
This character was not like what you would expect. Of course there are the jock cliches, that he is a player and cocky and rude but Noah plays Peter with so much charm and kindness that it makes it so easy to fall in love with him. Peter has so much respect for Lara Jean and you can see it in the way he looks at her and talks to her. Peter Kavinsky is a name that I know I will never forget.
One of my favorite parts of this film is the fact that in most rom-com films we see the girl obsessing over the guy and falling head over heels in love with him and then we don't typically see much of how the guy feels until the big romantic gesture in the end. This film messes with that cliche because we can see that Peter is the one obsessing over Lara Jean more than she is with him. There are many instances where we can clearly see how much Peter cares and that this is more than a fake relationship to him. He was not pretending. Lara Jean, of course, was also catching feelings but it seems that Peter was progressing even quicker. For example, the very last scene (spoiler sorry!) when Lara Jean confronts Peter and tells him that she likes him, he responds by saying he is in love with her. He is head over heels for her!!
Everything about this film was just lovely and magical. The cinematography was just so breathtaking. There were so many wide shots and beautiful lighting choices, this film was just so nice on the eyes. I loved the production design and the clothing of all the characters (especially Lara Jean) and all the actors were perfect. I loved Lara Jean's relationship with her sisters because they were all very different but each so interesting and would do anything for each other.
I especially loved the representation of Asian-Americans in the film by casting Lana Condor as the lead and having her two sisters as well. This representation and visibility is so crucial and so important. I found it interesting that they did not then make this a film about being Asian-American, it was just another teen, rom-com movie that just happened to feature Asian-Americans. Obviously a film about Asian-American's culture is also very important but this film normalizes these characters in a very dominantly white character filled genre. Now Asian-American girls can see themselves in a rom-com while most of their life has been spent watching white girls in the genre. This seems to be subtly hinted even in the film when Peter and Lara Jean watch Sixteen Candles and Peter asks why she loves this film so much even when they have this extremely racist character, Long Duk Dong. She seems to be just so desensitized and unfortunately used to either not seeing herself or seeing a wrong and hurtful version of herself.
This film is so dang special and beautiful and important and I could go on forever.
This film can be found on Netflix so it is easily accessible. No excuse, go watch it!